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  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Should I abandon ship?

    I have a gaming news blog that I am starting to lose interest in due to a lack of readership and no interest in my forums. I think I got over my head thinking I could post gaming news at the pace of sites like Kotaku, since I am the only one writing. I don't think I can keep it up anymore especially because of declining traffic, most of it is to one article I have that had a massive hit a few months ago. All other news I post rarely get any hits, even if I submit them to d igg. I pretty much spend all my free time looking for news to write, and checking my site stats.

    Do you think this would be a good time to sell the site? (that's if anyone would actually want to buy it. )

    Stats about it:

    domain age: 8 months
    Uses Wordpress and phpBB3, both use custom design by me.
    80-130 hits a day, traffic slowing declining
    Listed in DMOZ
    Referenced in Wikipedia article
    About 1200 backlinks
    PR 2
    Alexa Rank: 311,xxx (inflated due to spike in traffic)
    Makes less than $1 a day from adsense.
    Last edited by respar; Nov 13, 2007 at 21:13.

  2. #2
    Google Zombie ssandecki's Avatar
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    Don't give up! You should never give in, how well is your site SEO optimized? Are you getting organic traffic from Google, Yahoo! or MSN? You probably need to get your site ranked for the SERPs.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Evangelist ramone_johnny's Avatar
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    Sometimes knowing when to 'let go' is a good thing. However before you do make sure youve given it everything, or at least feel that you have. Ive developed several sites, and worst case scenario was spending 8 months on a site that drew 36 members in 6 months. You deal with it, you learn and you move on.

    Think about what you did wrong, and how you can improve on it next time round. Overall the message is - keep trying!

    RJ

    *Lose - not loose!

  4. #4
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    I like to think my site has been SEO optimized (nice titles, urls, code to only index home page and posts). I am currently getting about 40-50 visits/day from search engines, most from google that lead to the one popular post I made.

    The one thing I notice about Google is that when I type in "site:www.website.com" my page descriptions all show up the same with the category links as the summary. But, when you do an actual search with a keyword that leads to my site, the description looks fine.

    My main site layout is:

    <header>
    <navigation>
    <sidebar1><maincontent><sidebar2>
    <footer>

    I am thinking about changing it to:

    <header>
    <navigation>
    <maincontent><sidebar1><sidebar2>
    <footer>

    so that Google can read the main content better. What do you think?

  5. #5
    SitePoint Evangelist ramone_johnny's Avatar
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    Whats your URL?

    RJ

  6. #6
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    The site url is: http://www.gamingbob.com/

    Be gentle, it is my first site.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Well, I think it's in the heart of the owner.
    I would try to hold on to your website. It seems like you're not motivated enough to actually do work on the website. I know how you feel. Sometimes I just have no desire to continue work because it yields no results. It's hard to stick to a habit, I'll admit, but I think anybody can pull of anything if they stay dedicated.

    See, I think your website is fine, but your promotion seems to be causing you the problems. I'd say that you'd get more motivated as soon as you get more visitors. Maybe you'd like to create some controversial post to try to bait people in to your website.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    I originally wanted to have a forum for the site, then later decided to add the blog to build up some content. I tried getting some friends to post in the forums but they weren't interested. I also post in the gaming section of a forum I frequent, but no luck getting people to join my forum through the link in my signature. I think I just need to get another popular news item to get me back on track.

    Also, I just realized I can call the left sidebar in the footer file to get it out of the way of the main content when a spider reads the site, since the sidebar is positioned absolutely. Google seems to have a hard time with the descriptions in index results.

    Thanks for the responses so far.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard jimbo_dk's Avatar
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    Starting a forum on a new site is a surefire way to sink a ship. You'd be better off sticking with only the blog and publicizing that as much as possible. Judging by the fact that it's listed in DMOZ, etc, it would be worthwhile to keep it, if for nothing else to sell it off at a later date.
    Winners Respond. Losers React.
    Singapore Web Designer

  10. #10
    _ silver trophy ses5909's Avatar
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    I agree with Jimbo. Even if you quit publishing on it, keep the site there. I would also try to focus more on the blog part of it. It is very hard to start a forum and then to try and start one in that niche is even harder.
    Sara

  11. #11
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Don't listen to these people that tell you not to give up. Giving up on this leaves you time to work on other projects should you choose to do so.

    I have a political blog that is currently Sandboxed. As a result, I get maybe 10 visitors per day, 25 when I make a post. Given the time it takes (1 hour or longer to write and proof-read a real post, 15 minutes to write a short opinion about something in the news with a link to the news item), it just isn't worth it given the traffic I get.

    So while I haven't completely abandoned it for now, I have put it on the back burner and only update it twice a month. Maybe when it comes out of the Sandbox the traffic will be sufficient for me to pick it back up and make it worthwhile. While I didn't do it for monetary reasons, but for a method to vent, it still isn't an efficient use of time with such little traffic if I've got other things to do.

    Take a look at crooksandliars.com. Take a look at how short most of their blog posts are. Maybe they update 7 - 10 times a day, but there is very little original content there. I've been thinking about doing something like that. More posts, less time.

  12. #12
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Quote Originally Posted by respar View Post
    The site url is: http://www.gamingbob.com/

    Be gentle, it is my first site.
    That's actually not a bad looking site. It's got some interesting content on it, too.

  13. #13
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    I presume that your platform handles pinging the RSS aggregators for you when you post articles? If not you should look at pingoat.com or similar blog and ping providers. The forum I would say, either needs to get active, or go away. Consider paying people to post for now if you decide to keep the site.

    Before you do anything, I would suggest you invest in a good keyword tool (keyword discovery is pretty good & lets you go month-to-month). Check out the keywords for your niche and the competition (pay attention to KEI). If you can find some keywords in your niche with decent traffic and not too much competition, then look at how well Adsense pays for those keywords. If things look promising, then start a link-building campaign around those keywords & tailor your content around them too.

    Make an impassionate decision. Don't listen to the "never give up" type advice. If it ain't going to pan out, cut your losses and start a new project. If you do decide to cut your losses, keep the site up: it'll generate some residual revenue for a long time to come & you can point links to your new sites from there. Even dead websites can make a few bucks here & there...

    HTH,

    Pleb

  14. #14
    SitePoint Wizard
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    I would not give up on site. Site is still new and being listed in Dmoz is a plus.

    Work on getting links to some popular posts on site and maybe sell ads on site for extra money.

  15. #15
    Floridiot joebert's Avatar
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    Have you considered shifting the forums focus entirely to game development/programming ?
    There seems to be a hell of alot more interest in the subject than there was when I was a teenager & played games more often.
    Specially with consoles that are more like computers.

    Alot of people, if not everyone, seem[s] to hate answering noob questions when it comes to gaming. There's tons of unanswered, flame-tarded, otherwise good "visitor attracting" questions all over the internet.
    Collect a bunch of them, polish them up with some rewording, & attemt to answer one of them on the forums each day or so yourself.

  16. #16
    SitePoint Enthusiast Tuler's Avatar
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    To make it easier to find content, spend a couple hours finding sites that you compete with and then subscribe to their RSS feed using iGoogle or something else. That way you don't have to search for content each day. Then, if you can't find original content to write about, then just comment on what other sites are saying. if you can find valid points to disagree with a popular site, you could create a "controversy" and drive a lot of traffic to your site.

  17. #17
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Quote Originally Posted by joebert View Post
    Collect a bunch of them, polish them up with some rewording, & attemt to answer one of them on the forums each day or so yourself.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tuler View Post
    Then, if you can't find original content to write about, then just comment on what other sites are saying. if you can find valid points to disagree with a popular site, you could create a "controversy" and drive a lot of traffic to your site.
    I think I will try these two things out. Thanks for the comments.


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